France | USA

Glenn Greenwald, Nermeen Shaikh, Amy Goodman: “Shameless” U.S. Officials Exploit Paris Attacks to Defend Spying & Attack Snowden (Democracy Now)

As France and Belgium move to expand state power in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, top U.S. officials have renewed a push to defend mass surveillance and dismiss those who challenge it. On Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey said intelligence and law enforcement officials need to have access to encrypted information on smartphones, despite no evidence that the Paris attackers used encryption. Meanwhile, others have used the Paris attacks to criticize NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. In recent days, CIA Director John Brennan has suggested revelations about mass spying have made it harder to find terrorists, while former CIA Director James Woolsey has said Snowden has blood on his hands. “We have not heard such blatant, shameless lying from intelligence and military officials since 2002 and 2003 when they propagandized the country into invading Iraq based on utterly false pretenses,” says The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer-winning journalist who exposed NSA mass surveillance based on Snowden’s leaks.

Amy Goodman, Nermeen Shaikh: Glenn Greenwald on “Submissive” Media’s Drumbeat for War and “Despicable” Anti-Muslim Scapegoating (Democracy Now)
Grey Anderson: The French Emergency (Jacobin)

From Algeria to the Paris attacks, French elites have used state of emergency legislation to consolidate power and repress dissent.

Ian Birchall: The Wrong Kind of Secularism (Jacobin)

The French secular ideal of laïcité is not a misused noble idea — it is deeply flawed at its roots…
Today laïcité serves as a justification for a variety of things — from banning headscarf-wearing mothers from accompanying their children on school outings to telling Muslim and Jewish schoolchildren that they must eat pork or go hungry.
But laïcité is not simply an idea that has been appropriated by the Right for political or cultural ends; it is also a value claimed by the Left, even the far left…
In 1886 Lafargue published a satire entitled La Religion du capital (The Religion of Capital). He imagined a conference in London with economic and political representatives of European capitalism — Clemenceau, Rothschild, Gladstone, Herbert Spencer, von Moltke, etc. Among those attending were Ferry and Paul Bert, who as education minister had been one of Ferry’s main allies in establishing laïcité. Their concern was to enable the survival of capitalism. And for that, a religion of some sort was required…
Some of the sharpest criticism of laïcité came from the anarchist and syndicalist currents; the anarchist position could be summed up as “neither the church nor the state.” As Sébastien Faure put it, the Christian school was “organised by the Church and for it, while the “école laïque” was “organised by the state and for it.” He counterposed the idea of “the school of the future . . . organised for the child.” André Lorulot put it rather more crudely, calling state schoolteachers “intellectual cops of the capitalist class.”…
Despite some opposing voices, laïcité largely achieved its goal of solidifying a national identity backed by military might…
The traditions of criticism of laïcité persisted after the First World War. The journal Clarté, close to but not entirely controlled by the Communist Party, reported on educational developments in post-revolutionary Russia that might offer an alternative to church or state education. An educational conference held in Moscow in 1919, for instance, dismissed academic neutrality and laïcité as a “mug’s game” (attrape-nigaud) designed to serve the interests of the bourgeoisie…
Today, with the concept being used in the service of Islamophobia, it is especially important to knock laïcité down from its elevated status. And that requires understanding laïcité not as a noble ideal that has been misinterpreted and distorted, but as deeply flawed from the outset.

The media after Paris: from fear to loathing, by way of made-up facts (Guardian)

Anti-immigration sentiment across Europe begins to make more sense when you realise that Brits and Spaniards think they have twice as many immigrants in their country as they actually do, the Italians, Belgians and French assume there are three times as many as there are, the Hungarians eight times and the Poles more than 30 times.

Gilbert Achcar: France Returns to the State of Exception (Jacobin)

The discourse of war is already upon us. But it must be resisted.

Don’t let them use Paris as a pretext! (International Action Center)
John Catalinotto: Historic crimes of the French military (International Action Centre)

Many young people in Paris were innocent victims of the Nov. 13 attack, but that doesn’t mean that the French imperialist state is innocent. While the 1789 French Revolution raised the idealistic slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity, French imperialism, which developed from that bourgeois revolution, has a bloody history across the world…
When imperialist France had just emerged from German occupation after World War II, the Arab and Berber peoples began carrying out mass demonstrations and uprisings in Algeria against French colonial rule. To suppress that rebellion, for several days French troops and police, acting on orders from the French president issued on May 8, 1945, massacred as many as 45,000 Algerians who peacefully demonstrated in the cities of Setif, Guelma and Kherrata. The French occupiers killed as many as a million Algerians trying to hold onto that nation, until the people finally won their liberation in 1962.
In 1947, French colonial troops slaughtered 89,000 people to “pacify” a rebellion in Madagascar, an African island in the Indian Ocean. During the long French war in Indochina, the French military killed many more Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians and some Chinese until French imperialism was finally driven out in 1954.
Even in Paris itself, on Oct. 17, 1961, French police opened fire on a demonstration of 30,000 Algerians, killing between 70 and 300 people …
This history of imperialist military intervention continues. French jets are bombing today in Syria and Iraq, along with the U.S.-led “coalition.” French jets opened the air war against Libya in 2011, leading NATO’s barbaric destruction of that country.

Mass Surveillance Isn’t the Answer to Fighting Terrorism (New York Times)

It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low…
It is hard to believe anything Mr. Brennan says.

The Drone Papers (Intercept)

The Intercept has obtained a cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The documents, provided by a whistleblower, offer an unprecedented glimpse into Obama’s drone wars.

Nicole Aschoff, Connor Kilpatrick, Paul Heideman: The Socialism of Bernie Sanders (Jacobin)

The novelty of Bernie Sanders has long been his adoption of the term “democratic socialist” to describe his political beliefs. On the presidential campaign trail, by way of definition, he’s repeatedly pointed to European countries with relatively robust welfare states.
On Thursday, in a major campaign address, he turned back stateside. Sanders cast himself not as the heir of Eugene Debs — a portrait of whom hangs in his congressional office — but of Franklin Roosevelt. In short, for Sanders, democratic socialism means New Deal liberalism.

South Africa | Philippines | USA | Syria | Palestine | Mali | Afghanistan | Wikileaks

Julie Hyland: South Africa: ANC orders security clampdown against miners’ revolt (WSWS)

More than 40,000 workers are now on strike, forcing three leading platinum and gold producers to halt their operations. …
The Marikana massacre was the worst act of police brutality since the days of apartheid. Some 270 miners arrested during the assault were then charged with complicity in the deaths of their 34 colleagues under the notorious apartheid-era “common purpose law”.
Although the charges have been dropped for now, the latest operation has underscored that the interests of the same multinational and South African firms that profited under apartheid remain intact. The Regulation of Gatherings Act now being enforced by the ANC was notoriously employed by the apartheid government. …
[T]he ANC and its partners in the NUM and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) have as little legitimacy as the white minority regime the ANC replaced 18 years before.
Comprising a thin layer of wealthy and corrupt black officials, they have been the sole beneficiaries of the post-apartheid policy of “black economic empowerment”.

Richard Javad Heydarian: Philippines on frontline of US-China rivalry (Asia Times)

… Manila is turning back on almost two decades of relative strategic independence, beginning with the Philippine Senate’s refusal in 1991 to extend the US’s lease at Subic Bay naval base, a military presence nationalistic lawmakers then assailed as a vestige of colonialism and affront to national sovereignty.
Fast forward to the present, Manila is now actively, if not desperately, courting US military support vis-a-vis China.

Amy Goodman: “Effective Evil” or Progressives’ Best Hope? Glen Ford vs. Michael Eric Dyson on Obama Presidency (Democracy Now)

GLEN FORD: … [W]e at Black Agenda Report have for some time been saying that Obama is not the lesser of evils, but the more effective evil. And we base that on his record and also on his rhetoric at the convention. So, we would prefer to talk about what history-making events have gone down under his presidency.
He’s, first of all, created a model for austerity, a veritable model, with his deficit reduction commission. He’s introduced preventive detention, a law for preventive detention. He’s expanded the theaters of war in drone wars, and he’s made an unremitting assault on international law. And I think that possibly the biggest impact, his presidency—and I’m not talking about his—all this light and airy stuff from the convention, but actual deeds—I think probably what will go down as his biggest contribution to history is a kind of merging of the banks and the state, with $16 trillion being infused into these banks, into Wall Street, under his watch, and the line between Wall Street and the federal government virtually disappearing.

Alison Weir: The Democrats’ Jerusalem Arithmetic (CounterPunch)

Corey Oakley: The left, imperialism and the Syrian revolution (Socialist Alternative)
Antonin Amado, Marc de Miramon: Syria’s propaganda war / Syrie, champ de bataille médiatique ‍(Monde diplomatique)
Karin Leukefeld: Jetzt dominieren Last-Minute-Revolutionäre (Neues Deutschland)

Der syrische Oppositionelle Haytham Manna sieht ursprüngliche Ziele der Erhebung in Gefahr

Naima El Moussaoui: Abschied von einer Zwei-Staaten-Lösung (Qantara)

Sari Nusseibeh, prominenter palästinensischer Philosoph und Präsident der Al-Quds Universität in Jerusalem, hält eine Zwei-Staaten-Lösung nicht mehr für realistisch. In seinem neuen Buch “Ein Staat für Palästina?” favorisiert er stattdessen einen binationalen Staat oder eine Konföderation zweier Staaten.

Jacques Delcroze: The Malian model falls apart / Effondrement du rêve démocratique au Mali (Monde diplomatique)

Christian Parenti: Ideology and Electricity: The Soviet Experience in Afghanistan (Nation) / Wer war Nadschibullah? (Monde diplomatique)

Mark Weisbrot: Assange case: Sweden’s shame in violating human rights (AlJazeera)

South Africa | Canada | Japan | Palestine | CNN | Avaaz

Chris Mardsen: South Africa after the Marikana massacre / L’Afrique du Sud après le massacre de Marikana / Südafrika nach dem Massaker von Marikana (WSWS)

The police massacre of striking miners at Marikana is a watershed for post-apartheid South Africa and for the international class struggle. It demonstrates in the starkest form imaginable that the perspective of “black empowerment” and the “National Democratic Revolution” providing the basis for overcoming economic and social oppression has failed utterly. The central lesson of Marikana is that the fundamental division within society is class, not race.

Bill Van Auken: South Africa’s miners and the fear of “contagion” / Die Bergarbeiter in Südafrika und die Furcht vor „Ansteckung” (WSWS)

Keith Jones: Parti Quebecois to form minority government, after narrow election win (WSWS)
Isabeau Doucet: Fatal shooting at Pauline Marois Quebec victory speech ‍(Guardian)

Emma Graham-Harrison: Prevalence of malnutrition in southern Afghanistan ‘shocking’ (Guardian)

Around a third of young children in southern Afghanistan are acutely malnourished, with a level of deprivation similar to that found in famine zones, a government survey has found, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid that has been poured into the region. …
“What’s shocking is that this is really very high by global standards,” said Michael Keating, deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan. “This is the kind of malnutrition you associate with Africa and some of the most deprived parts of the world, not with an area that has received so much international attention and assistance.”

Gavan McCormack: Troubled Seas: Japan’s Pacific and East China Sea Domains (and Claims) (JapanFocus)

Harriet Sherwood: Rachel Corrie’s death was an accident, Israeli judge rules (Guardian)

From 2000-04 the Israeli military demolished around 1,700 homes in Rafah, leaving about 17,000 people homeless, according to the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem.
Corrie was one of a group of around eight international activists acting as human shields against the demolitions. According to witness statements made at the time and evidence given in court, she clambered on top of a mound of earth in the path of an advancing Caterpillar bulldozer.
“She was standing on top of a pile of earth,” fellow activist and eyewitness Richard Purssell, from Brighton, said at the time. “The driver cannot have failed to see her. As the blade pushed the pile, the earth rose up. Rachel slid down the pile. It looks as if her foot got caught. The driver didn’t slow down; he just ran over her. Then he reversed the bulldozer back over her again.”

Harriet Sherwood: Rachel Corrie lawsuit result ‘dangerous precedent’ say human rights groups (Guardian)

Concern ruling will allow Israel to exploit ‘legal black hole’ and avoid responsibility for its actions. Human rights organisations have warned of a “dangerous precedent” following an Israeli court’s dismissal of a civil lawsuit over the death of US activist Rachel Corrie, which stated that Israel could not be held responsible because its army was engaged in a combat operation. …
Human Rights Watch said the ruling contravened international law, which is intended to protect non-combatants in war zones, and set “a dangerous precedent”. “The idea that there can be no fault for killing civilians in a combat operation flatly contradicts Israel’s international legal obligations to spare civilians from harm during armed conflict and to credibly investigate and punish violations by its forces,” said Bill van Esveld, a senior Middle East researcher at HRW.

Zvi Bar’el: A good Jew hates Arabs / יהודי טוב שונא ערבים (Haaretz)

Hatred of Arabs is part of the test of loyalty and identity that the state gives its Jewish citizens. A good Jew hates Arabs. A loyal Israeli will leave an Arab to die, because “he’s an Arab.” And someone who isn’t like that, as we know, “sleeps with Arabs.”
שנאת ערבים היא חלק ממבחן הנאמנות לזהות שמעניקה המדינה לאזרחיה היהודים. יהודי טוב שונא ערבים. ישראלי נאמן יניח לערבי למות, כי “הוא ערבי”. מי שאיננו כזה הוא כידוע “מזדיין/ת עם ערבים”.

Yossi Sarid: A quiet lynch in Tel Aviv-Jaffa / הלינץ’ השקט בתל אביב-יפו (Haaretz)
Gideon Levy: Lieberman was right / ליברמן צדק (Haaretz)

To the long list of new heights of Israeli chutzpah, we can now add Lieberman’s scandalous letter, which urges the replacement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Even the most moderate Palestinian statesman ever – there never has been, and, more importantly, never will be one as moderate and committed to nonviolence as he – is no good for Lieberman’s Israel. To the megalomania of bombing Iran, in order to foment regime change, among other things, we can now add this megalomaniac idiocy, which is dwarfed only slightly by all its predecessors.
אל שיאי החוצפה הישראלית, רשימה ארוכה, עטורת שיאים, נוסף עכשיו מכתבו השערורייתי של ליברמן, הקורא להחליף את מחמוד עבאס. גם המדינאי הפלסטיני המתון ביותר בכל הזמנים – לא היה ובעיקר לא יהיה עוד מתון ודוגל באי-אלימות כמותו – גם הוא לא טוב לישראל של ליברמן. אל מגלומניית ההפצצה באיראן, בין היתר כדי להחליף את משטרה, נוסף עכשיו ההבל המגלומני הזה, מתגמד רק במעט לנוכח כל קודמיו. אחרי שישראל טענה במשך שנים שיאסר ערפאת הוא הוא המכשול, אחרי שחמאס עלה וגם הוא היה למכשול, החליט שר החוץ להוסיף גם את עבאס לרשימת פסולי השלום שלו. אחרי שישראל טענה במשך שנים שרק, רק, אם הפלסטינים יפסיקו את הטרור יהיה שלום, והפלסטינים הפסיקו את הטרור – וכלום. אפילו לא הקפאת ההתנחלויות. כלום.

Ewen MacAskill: Democratic convention erupts over reinstatement of Jerusalem to policy (Guardian)

Glenn Greenwald: CNN and the business of state-sponsored TV news (Guardian)

Friederike Beck: Avaaz.org und der geheime Informationskrieg um Syrien (Zeitgeist)

Greece | France | Afghanistan | CIA | Chomsky | Israel

Eric Toussaint: The Seismic Results in Greece (CounterPunch)

At the May 6 polls, the radical left-wing coalition Syriza becomes the second “party” in numbers of voters as it moves from 4.5% at the previous elections (2009) to 16.8% (52 MPs instead of 13). It is the first party in the major agglomerations and among people aged 18-35.
The Socialist Party (PASOK) lost 2/3 of the votes it had received in 2009 (from 44% to 13.2%, a loss of 119 MPs, from 160 to 41!). PASOK pays ‘cash on the nail’ their rigorous austerity programme and subjection to the ‘Troika’ and big private business interests.
New Democracy, the main right-wing party that entered the government in December 2011, still comes first but with an enormously reduced score down from 33.5% to 18.9%. However, it gains seats because of an iniquitous disposition that grants 50 seats as a bonus to the party that pooled most votes. So while it lost 40% in votes New Democracy wins 17 MPs (from 91 to 108).

Mike Whitney: Triangulating France (CounterPunch)

François Hollande hasn’t even been sworn into office and already he’s backpeddling on his campaign promises.

Afghan Peace Volunteers: An Afghan Okinawa (CounterPunch)

‘No permanent military base in Afghanistan’? The reality is that the U.S. bases will be “Afghan” bases, but housing as many as 20,000 U.S. “trainers“ and Special Ops forces, actually numbering more than the U.S. troops currently stationed at the controversial Futenma airbase in Okinawa, Japan, and double the number that will remain there after the troop withdrawal recently (and heatedly) negotiated with Japan.

Paul Harris and Ed Pilkington: ‘Underwear bomber’ was working for the CIA (Guardian)

Bomber involved in plot to attack US-bound jet was working as an informer with Saudi intelligence and the CIA, it has emerged

Ed Pilkington: Foiled Al-Qaida bomb plot likely to lead to changes in US airport security (Guardian)
Knut Mellenthin: Schleifspuren der CIA (junge Welt)

Noam Chomsky: Plutonomy and the Precariat (Tomgram)

Neve Gordon: Zionist History: a Short Quiz (al-Jazeera)

Greece | Egypt | Palestine/Israel

Greek elections result map (Guardian)

Peter Beaumont: Egypt’s generals wait in the wings as battle for democracy sours (Guardian)
Damien Pearse: Cairo clashes leave hundreds injured (Guardian)

Urgent Action: Palestinan Hunger Strikers’ Lives in Danger (PDF; Amnesty International)

Two Palestinian hunger strikers’ lives are in danger, as the Israeli Supreme Court has delayed ruling on the appeal against their detention without charge or trial. Other administrative detainees on hunger strike are still denied access to independent doctors.

Jodi Rudoren: Palestinians Go Hungry to Make Their Voices Heard (New York Times)

Each day since April 17, scores of Palestinian prisoners have joined a hunger strike that officials say now counts more than 1,500 participants. And on Thursday, the Palestinian Authority’s minister of detainees said that if Israel did not yield to their demands for improved prison conditions, the remaining 3,200 would soon join in. The two longest-striking prisoners, who have gone without food for 66 days, appeared in wheelchairs before Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday morning, pleading for their release from what is known here as administrative detention — incarceration without formal charges. One of them, Bilal Diab, 27, fainted during the hearing.

Ramzy Baroud: Illegal Settlements Bonanza: Israel Plots an Endgame (CounterPunch)

Israel’s colonization policies are entering an alarming new phase, comparable in historic magnitude to the original plans to colonize Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem following the war of 1967.

Amira Hass: In solitary confinement for 10 years, Palestinian prisoner sees family only once / 10 שנים בבידוד ורק ביקור משפחה אחד (Haaretz)
Gideon Levy, Alex Levac: In a Palestinian village plagued by crime, a thin line runs between burglars and IDF soldiers / ליל הביעותים של האחים שוואחה (Haaretz)
Unnecessary killing in West Bank / הרג שווא בראמון (Haaretz)

Three brothers from the burglar-plagued West Bank village of Kafr Ramun wake up in the middle of the night and spot two suspicious figures near their home. They ask them to identify themselves, but the suspicious characters keep moving toward their house. The brothers try to chase off the intruders with sticks and kitchen knives, but the intruders open fire on the men with handguns they have kept hidden. Only the next day do the brothers discover that the two suspicious figures were undercover operatives of the Israel Defense Forces’ Duvdevan unit, disguised as Arabs, who were soon joined by a large IDF force. The soldiers fired no less than 11 bullets point-blank at the brothers; some continued to fire after the men lay wounded on the ground. The wounded men say they were left to bleed for almost an hour without medical attention. A soldier kicked one of the wounded brothers in the head. The outcome: the younger brother, Rashad Shawakhah, 28, died of his wounds and the two others, Anwar and Akram, were severely wounded.

Chaim Levinson: Undercover Israeli combatants threw stones at IDF soldiers in West Bank / סגן מפקד “מצדה” מודה: המסתערבים שלנו השליכו אבנים על חיילים בבילעין (Haaretz)
Alex Kane: New Conflict of Interest at NYT Jerusalem Bureau (FAIR)

Libya | Wikileaks | Afghanistan | NPC

The first article by Furuhashi explains doubts about parts of the opposition in Libya. The second article by Prashad gives helpful background on Libya.
Yoshie Furuhashi: What Does the Libyan Opposition Want? (MRzine)
Vijay Prashad: The Bang That Ends Qaddafi’s Revolution? The Libyan
Labyrinth
(CounterPunch)

Yoshie Furuhashi: Black Africans Live in Fear in “Free Libya” (MRzine)
Glen Ford: No Tahrir in Benghazi: A Racist Pogrom Rages On against Black Africans in Libya (MRzine)

Watching unarmed crowds achieve tentative victories against entrenched, U.S.-backed regimes produced a kind of giddiness on this side of the ocean—an otherworldly feeling that, somehow, the foreign outposts of the U.S. empire might suddenly disintegrate by popular demand. But now, the U.S. naval war machine lies off the coast of Libya, and it is time for the American anti-war movement—such as it is—to remember who is the biggest enemy of peace on planet Earth: U.S. imperialism.

It is certainly not Muamar Khadafi [معمر القذافي‎ Mu‘ammar al-Qaḏḏāfī], no matter what you think of him. And the conflict that is raging in Libya seems in important ways very much unlike the events in Tunisia and Egypt. The anti-Khadafi forces were armed from almost the very beginning of the uprising and included elements of the military. Unlike the opponents of Egypt’s President Mubarak, we know very little about who these rebel Libyans are—except that they have been getting lots of material help from the Americans and the French and other Europeans.

Fidel Castro Ruz: Danza macabra de cinismo (CubaDebate) / Cynicism’s Danse Macabre (MRzine)

Glenn Greenwald: Shifting editorial standards (Salon)
Michael Hastings: Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators (Rolling Stone)

Michael Forsythe: Wen Sees Billionaires in Congress as Gap in Wealth Widens (Bloomberg Businessweek)

The richest 70 of the 2,987 [NPC] members have a combined wealth of 493.1 billion yuan ($75.1 billion), … By comparison, the wealthiest 70 people in the 535-member U.S. House and Senate, who represent a country with about 10 times China’s per-capita income, had a maximum combined wealth of $4.8 billion…

The presence of billionaires in the Congress, which is the highest state legislative body and meets to approve government economic and fiscal plans, is one consequence of the Communist Party’s opening to capitalists to join it a decade ago. The step now risks hampering efforts to tackle inequality, such as higher taxes on upper-income earners, financial disclosures and real-estate levies, said Huang Jing of Singapore National University.

“The biggest problem to passage of the property tax is the People’s Congress,” said Huang, a professor at the Lee Kuan Yew Center for Public Policy. “How can you expect those rich people to represent the interests of people who need help?” …

Wen, 68, said Feb. 27 that the government would push to narrow a growing wealth gap which Credit Suisse Group AG said in an August report was at levels not seen outside of Africa. …

Li Zhaoxing, a former foreign minister who is now the NPC’s spokesman, said he had no idea that so many delegates were richer than the wealthiest U.S. lawmaker.

Korea | Afghanistan

Stop the War Provocations and Attacks on the DPRK! (International Action Center)
Eric Walberg: Korea-stone cops (EricWalberg.com)
Statement Released by Spokesman of DPRK Foreign Ministry (KCNA)
조선외무성 《적들의 군사적도발에 대응한 자위적조치》 (조선중앙통신)
Beneath the Surface: the investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan (Hankoryeh/YouTube; not accessible in China)
Rüdiger Frank: Power Restructuring in North Korea: Annointing Kim Jong Il’s Successor (JapanFocus)

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad: I. The Taliban troop with an east London cab driver in its ranks II. Five days inside a Taliban jail III. Talking to the Taliban about life after occupation (Guardian)

Marc Lynch: The Zombie Tribunal for Lebanon (Foreign Policy)
Vicente Navarro: Defender of Human Rights? The Hypocrisies of Mario Vargas Llosa (CounterPunch)
Slavoj Žižek: A Permanent Economic Emergency (New Left Review) | Zeit der Monster. Ein
Aufruf zur Radikalität
(Monde Diplomatique)

Iraq “pullout” | Korea

Tom Kent: AP: ‘Combat in Iraq is not over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is’ (PoyntnerOnline)

To begin with, combat in Iraq is not over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is, even if they come from senior officials. The situation on the ground in Iraq is no different today than it has been for some months. Iraqi security forces are still fighting Sunni and al-Qaida insurgents. … As for U.S. involvement, it also goes too far to say that the U.S. part in the conflict in Iraq is over. … 50,000 American troops remain in country. Our own reporting on the ground confirms that some of these troops, especially some 4,500 special operations forces, continue to be directly engaged in military operations.

Glenn Greenwald: Associated Press refuses to use White House / NBC propaganda terms for Iraq (Salon)

Rüdiger Frank: Money in Socialist Economies: The Case of North Korea (Japan Focus)

There is no indication that the North Korean state wants to end economic exchange with the outside world. However, stage one and stage two of the currency reforms reveals the strong determination to return to the driver’s seat and to be in full control of the domestic economy as well as of foreign economic relations. The vision of the planners in Pyongyang is a domestic population that is supplied via state distribution and rationing, and foreign trade and investment that are channeled through the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Foreign Trade Bank, and the Foreign Investment Bank rather than via single ministries or even, beware, single enterprises.

Chomsky | Australia | Hiroshima | Afghanistan | China and Africa

Rob sent these links to videos of Chomsky’s talk at Peking University:
乔姆斯基教授北大百年讲堂讲演 – intro, main talk, Q&A (Youku)

张传文: 当乔姆斯基遭遇中国 (南方都市报)
Excerpts in English can be found here:
Andy Yee: Noam Chomsky in China (Global Voices)

K. wrote: Oz is a colonial backwater like Canada…I remember when the CIA got rid of Whitlam i believe…Billiton (aka Broken Hill) is the largest mining corp in the world about to take over potashcorp, world’s largest potash producer and the second and third largest producer of nitrogen and phosphate.
Rachel Pannett: Shadow of Ouster Hangs Over Australian Vote (Wall Street Journal)

K. also sent these two links:
Ameen Izzadeen: Hiroshima: the humbug and the hypocrisy (Daily Mirror)
Tim Kennelly: Afghanistan Crisis Deepens: US, Canada and NATO Threaten to Extend War (The Bullet)
K.’s comment: Bob [Rae]’s brother is the main man for the head of the biggest corporation in Canada (Power Corp) which is a front for Rockefeller’s SO. All if not 99.9% of Canadan prime ministers have bin former employees of Power Corp.

Deborah Brautigam: Is China Sending Prisoners to Work Overseas? (China in Africa: The Real Story)
Barry Sautman, Yan Hairong: Stirring up trouble: Claims that China sends convicts to labour in Africa are unfounded (China in Africa: The Real Story)

Wikileaks | Football | Haiti | Australia | Korea

Paul Street: Revealing Moments: Obama, WikiLeaks, the “Good War” Myth, and Silly Liberal Faith in the Emperor (MRzine)

War crime whistleblower in Obama’s sights, war criminals not.

Alexander Cockburn: Do Disclosures of Atrocities Change Anything? (CounterPunch)

The important constituency here is liberals, who duly rise to the challenge of unpleasant disclosures of imperial crimes. In the wake of scandals such as those revealed at Abu Ghraib, or in the Wikileaks files, they are particularly eager to proclaim that they “can take it” – i.e., endure convincing accounts of monstrous tortures, targeted assassinations by US forces, obliteration of wedding parties or entire villages, and emerge with ringing affirmations of the fundamental overall morality of the imperial enterprise. This was very common in the Vietnam war and repeated in subsequent imperial ventures such the sanctions and ensuing attack on Iraq, and now the war in Afghanistan. Of course in the case of Israel it’s an entire way of life for a handsome slice of America’s liberals.
What does end wars? One side is annihilated, the money runs out, the troops mutiny, the government falls, or fears it will. With the U.S. war in Afghanistan none of these conditions has yet been met.

May sent this article on football:
May de Silva: The Better Half of the World Game (The Island)

Kris sent these two links on Haiti and Australia:
Charlie Hinton, Kiilu Nyasha: Wyclef Jean For President Of Haiti? Look Beyond The Hype (Before It’s News)

To cut to the chase, no election in Haiti, and no candidate in those elections, will be considered legitimate by the majority of Haiti’s population, unless it includes the full and fair participation of the Fanmi Lavalas Party of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Fanmi Lavalas is unquestionably the most popular party in the country, yet the “international community,” led by the United States, France, and Canada, has done everything possible to undermine Aristide and Lavalas, overthrowing him twice by military coups in 1991 and 2004, and banishing Aristide, who now lives in South Africa with his family, from the Americas.

John Pilger: Julia Gillard, the new warlord of Oz (New Statesman)

The rise to power of Australia’s first female prime minister led to hopes for political change. But early signs indicate that Gillard will do little more than protect vested big-business interests.

Puerto Rican nationalist Lolita Lebron dies at 89 (AP/Guardian)
Lolita Lebrón (Wikipedia)

Hilary Keenan: Shock wave and bubble: the untruth about the Cheonan (21st Century Socialism)
Gregory Elich: Doubts Persist: The Sinking of the Cheonan and Its Political Uses (CounterPunch)
Lee Yeong-in: Government protests Russia’s Conflicting Cheonan findings (Hankoryeh)

[South Korean] 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Shin Kak-soo summoned Russian Ambassador to South Korea Konstantin Vnukov to the Foreign Ministry on July 4 to express “astonishment” at Russia’s investigation findings because the findings were a complete contradiction to the South Korean government’s announcement.